…And as long as we’re taking bets on how long Rummy might be along, why don’t we throw into the mix the possibility that Lieberman will take this opportunity to vacate a potentially embarrassing and definitely difficult primary race to take the job. Just some things to ruminate on on a Friday night.” — McJoan (Daily Kos)
“OK, now we know the ‘neural correlates’ of stigma, what shall we do with that information? What does it mean??” (The Neurocritic)
Arianna Huffington says we face a challenge in embracing former rightwing ideologues as they change their positions on issues like Iraq. She mentions Newt Gingrich and Francis Fukuyama to start. This was a lesson learned by those of us in the antiwar movement during the Vietnam War which should not have to be learned all over again. Do we want to stop the war? I agree we should embrace penitant reformed jingoists.
Huffington (who is no stranger herself to the derision provoked by changing one’s stripes; one might argue that there is no zeal like that of the converted) parses the quandary about doing so as being one between pragmatism and “anti-war purity,” which I think gives perhaps abit too much credit to those who do not accept the ‘converts’, making them sound a little tooo high-minded. What she describes as “launching a full-scale, dig-up-all-the-old-dirt attack on those who publicly change their position on the war” is often based not on ideological purity but more primal feelings such as contemtp, ragefulness, spite, and narcissism.
I know I have often been guilty of that holier-than-thou attitude, and I continue to stand by my public position about the impossibility of meaningful dialogue with most of the wingnuts on the right (which I think is a reasonable position to take in the face of their unreasonableness). But Huffington’s post reminded me that our work in the Vietnam-era antiwar movement was inherently wedded to work on ourselves, on empathy and compassion and overcoming our own hatreds. It was much more organically embedded in a counterculture and a social justice, as well as peace, movement. It makes me second-guess even my own calls, as we ramp up to an attack on Iran, for the growth of a massive peace movement, makes me wonder if it would fail if not rooted in a broader social change movement.